Today (as you read this) Santa Cruz are unveiling the latest in an impressive line of recent product developments. APP is a new suspension technology that their engineers have been beavering away on for close to 5 years. What is APP? Well the acronym stands for Actual Pivot Point and is, essentially, a single pivot swing arm driving a shock via two interconnected linkages. Seems simple, what's the big deal? (more pics and videos after the jump)
The big deal is that those two linkages have been carefully engineered to produce a variable shock rate that is claimed to closely mimic the shock rate achieved by the fabled VPP technology; a slightly falling initial rate for great small bump absorption, followed by a flattish stable rate in mid travel, and finally a rising rate near bottom out. This suspension rate characteristic combined with a carefully refined single pivot location promises to deliver a bike that is lively to pedal, offers plush and responsive suspension, and that is relatively neutral under braking.
Of course Santa Cruz are keenly aware that the best suspension theory in the world means nothing if not delivered well and they appear to have worked hard to ensure that this latest offering is both robust and reliable. The linkages are forged aluminium and the major pivots run on angular contact bearings and are held together with 15mm axles.
Initially this new suspension platform will be available in two models of bike; the 150mm travel Butcher, and the 125mm travel Nickel. It seems that both are squarely aimed at the trail/all mountain portion of the market and appear to have all the necessary attributes to ensure that they are competent all rounders. Santa Cruz have a knack for producing bikes in this genre that punch well above their weight; satisfying those who like to go up, and surprising those who like to go down. On paper at least both the Butcher and the Nickel look set to impress. We look forward to seeing if that is the case.
To download the full release PDF from Santa Cruz click here